This week we saw yet another flagship smartphone to launch in Malaysia, the Realme GT 2 Pro. It’s the latest in a string of Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered smartphones, starting with the Samsung Galaxy S22 series that debuted here back in February. Since then, we’ve seen the Motorola Edge 30 Pro, Xiaomi 12, Xiaomi 12 Pro and now the Realme GT 2 Pro too.
Incidentally, other than the Samsung Galaxy S22 series and the Xiaomi 12 Pro, the rest of these flagship smartphones are actually all below RM3,000. So how do these sub-RM3,000 smartphones stack up against one another?
It’s hard to make a direct call as to which device among the three are the best for you, as when it when it comes to size everyone has their own preference. Some like it big while others prefer a compact smartphone they can hold in one hand.
With that being said though, it’s hard to go against the Realme GT 2 Pro when it comes to displays. It has a large 6.67-inch, AMOLED display capable of up to 1,400nits of peak brightness. But what really sets it apart from the other two is its higher WQHD+ display as well as its use of LTPO technology allowing an adaptive refresh rate between 1 to 120Hz. It covers 100% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut too and has a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus too for scratch resistance.
In contrast, on the opposite end of the spectrum we have the Xiaomi 12, which is a much more compact smartphone with just a 6.28-inch, FHD+ AMOLED display packing a 1,100nits of peak brightness. While it also has a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, it doesn’t make use of LTPO technology, meaning that you don’t have a fluid refresh rate on the display. Instead, you’re stuck on either 60Hz or 120Hz refresh rate. It does share other similar specifications with the Realme GT 2 Pro though, such as a 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio and a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus over it.
Meanwhile, the Motorola Edge 30 Pro is somewhere in the middle, with a 6.7-inch, FHD+ OLED display and a 700nits peak brightness. Curiously, it actually exceeds the other two devices here with a maximum refresh rate of up to 144Hz, but again with no LTPO technology here you won’t be getting a fluid refresh rate. Another weird choice is its use of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the front, while the back is made of Gorilla Glass 5.
As for battery capacity, the Realme GT 2 Pro is again the winner in terms of pure size, packing a 5,000mAh battery compared to a 4,500mAh battery on the Xiaomi 12 and a 4,800mAh battery on the Motorola Edge 30 Pro.
However, it’s the slowest of the three when it comes to charging speeds—only just though. The GT 2 Pro clocks in with a 65W SuperDart fast charging while the Xiaomi 12 has 67W wired turbo fast charging with the Motorola Edge 30 Pro the fastest with 68W TurboPower fast charging. That being said, Realme says you’ll need just 33 minutes to do a full charge, compared to the 35 minutes that Motorola claims and 39 minutes for the Xiaomi 12.
If you’re over wires though, you’ll want to skip over the Realme GT 2 Pro as it doesn’t have wireless charging. The Motorola Edge 30 Pro does have 15W wireless charging, while the Xiaomi 12 has a whopping 50W wireless fast charging if you use their wireless charger. These two also have reverse wireless charging, with the Edge 30 Pro putting out a 5W wireless charge while the Xiaomi 12 offers 10W.
It should be noted that it’s hard to say outright which smartphone has the best camera setup without actually using them, but we can at least compare the specs of the three on paper first.
The Realme GT 2 Pro has a triple rear camera setup, with a 50MP, f/1.8 main camera using the Sony IMX766 sensor and has optical image stabilisation. There’s a 50MP, f/2.2 ultra-wide angle camera too with a 150° field of view. And lastly there’s a 3MP micro-lens that can get you magnified close up shots with up to a 40x magnification. On the front of the device meanwhile is a 32MP, f/2.4 front facing camera using the Sony IMX615 sensor.
As for the Xiaomi 12, there’s also a 50MP, f/1.8 main camera again with optical image stabilisation using the Sony IMX766 sensor. However, its ultra-wide angle camera is just a 13MP, f/2.4 shooter, along with a 5MP, f/2.4 telemacro camera. As for selfies, there’s a 32MP, f/2.45 front facing camera too.
Lastly, the Motorola Edge 30 Pro repeats the same triple camera setup formula here with a 50MP, f/1.8 main shooter. That gets flanked by a 50MP, f/2.2 ultra-wide angle lens and a third 2MP, f/2.4 depth sensor. It has a pretty bonkers front camera though, with a 60MP, f/2.2 selfie camera.
4. Specs and OS update policy
There’s no real need to compare the specs here as they all obviously have the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor under the hood. However, only the Realme GT 2 Pro and the Motorola Edge 30 Pro has up to 12GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage, as the Xiaomi 12 is only available with 8GB of RAM. And as for software, they all run Android 12 out of the box, with your choice between Realme UI 3.0, MIUI 13, or the MyUX 3.0 skin.
However, you obviously don’t want to be stuck with outdated software in just a few years time, and with the likes of Apple and Samsung having industry leading software update policies, the pressure is on other manufacturers to also offer a solid update policy. In this regard, the Realme GT 2 Pro and Xiaomi 12 are both slated to have three major Android OS upgrades with a total of four years of security patches too.
As for the Motorola Edge 30 Pro, it’s a little bit more vague. Motorola didn’t actually specify how many years of software updates you’ll get, but we do know that the same device in the US is known as the Motorola Edge+ 2022. Sadly, it seems as though Motorola is only promising at least two years of OS upgrades and three years of security patches, putting their flagship in a much worse position compared to the other two.
If you’re looking at getting a flagship smartphone below RM3,000, then the price of the device is likely one of the most important factors for you. Here’s a quick breakdown of how much each smartphone will cost you:
- Motorola Edge 30 Pro, 12GB RAM, 256GB storage – RM2,699
- Xiaomi 12, 8GB RAM, 128GB storage – RM2,899
- Xiaomi 12, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage – RM2,999
- Realme GT 2 Pro, 12GB RAM, 256GB storage – RM2,999
Okay, so they may just be a single ringgit below the RM3,000 threshold we set at the start, but it’s still below it. Plus, at time of writing, Realme has a promotion where if you purchase the Realme GT 2 Pro on their official Shopee store between 25-26 March or between 30-31 March, you’ll be able to snag one for just RM2,599.
If you do want a recommendation though, it’s pretty much split between the Realme GT 2 Pro and the Xiaomi 12 for us. The two years of major Android OS updates that Motorola is offering simply isn’t enough in this time and age, and really we should even be pushing for up to four years of OS updates. As for which one between the Realme GT 2 Pro or the Xiaomi 12, it really depends on your personal preference between a larger, higher resolution display or a more compact smartphone.